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Parking People Person
Nancy Fisher | 24th Street

 

Parking Enforcement Officer Ulises Rodriguez.
Photo Nancy Fisher

 

Parking Enforcement Officer Ulises Rodriguez loves his job. And, yes, you heard that right. “I know people think we deal with angry people yelling at us all the time, but that’s only about 1% of the job.” The rest, he says, is regular interaction with residents and non-residents of Del Mar who appreciate the public service performed by Ulises and the rest of the Parking Enforcement staff.

After enlisting in the Marines at the age of 19, Ulises went on to study Political Science at San Diego State, and to work for FedEx, before applying for his position with the City of Del Mar in 2004. Since then, in spite of a commute from San Ysidro, where he lives with his wife, his 11-year-old son, and his 6-year-old daughter, he’s enjoyed his work and would recommend it to anyone. “This job is great! You meet the residents, get your exercise, and you get to see the ocean while you’re driving a car or riding a bike.”

When asked about the challenging parts of his job, Ulises said he’s pretty much seen it all. “One time three guys wanted to fight me – and I hadn’t even ticketed them!” “Another time,” he said,” I issued a citation to a guy who saw me driving by later and threw an orange at my car!” He also sees plenty of tears, and assures those who are distraught that there is a process for protesting the citation. “Just this morning a lady told me she was losing her house and then started crying. Since the ticket was already issued and on her windshield, there was nothing I could do but explain the process of protesting, which anyone can do within 21 days of the citation.” He also gets the occasional payoff offer. “One guy offered me a $20 bill to take back a $40 ticket for an expired meter. He must have really wanted to save twenty bucks, but I had to explain to him that that would be corrupt.”

Weirdest parking violation he’s seen? “There was a car parked at a meter on Coast Boulevard on a beautiful summer day. It was parked facing the wrong direction – and they hadn’t even put money in the meter!” “Must have been from Europe,” he added diplomatically.

Ulises will complete his ninth year on the job this May, and is very much appreciated by his co-workers. “Ulises is much, much, too modest,” says his supervisor Eric Sandy. “Del Mar is a safer place because of what he does.”

 

 

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